Occasionally (but never revealing more than a little at a time) my mom tells me a story of what it was like to start her life over in this world called America. Her new life was marked by wide roads, green grass, and a homesickness that could not be cured by anything but time. I put myself in her position- she wasn't too far from my current age- and I can feel her memories, tinged by a poignant loneliness, almost as though they are my own memories. My dad, though he claims not to miss India, often reminisces nostalgically on his college days (in particular, eating 'chaat paapri' from a cart-vendor near the India Gate) with his old buddies.
I understand why my parents hold on to their culture, why they have the desire to pass their heritage forward to their children, and to their children's children- it's a timeless story well known to any immigrant family. And the fear of losing ones culture to the melting pot is not irrational. Every culture has beautiful subtleties that easily go unappreciated and forgotten. I try to understand and cherish these subtleties, though my own world is a 50/50 mix of two separate worlds. I am neither here nor there, but I value both.
However, I believe that the most critical things in life are unified against any social or cultural boundaries- Love and Truth, amongst others, are the common denominators of humanity. ~
A couple weekends ago my friend Katie and I decided to craft together. I cut up a giant cardboard box (leftover from move-in) and used it as my canvas...it ended up being approximately 3 feet by 4 feet in size. On it, I drew (using chalk pastel) a scene from the Bollywood movie, Mughal-e-azam, to hang up above the couch in our living room. In the movie, a poor woman and a prince fall in love, but their love is forbidden by the King. In a climactic number near the end of the film, she sings: 'jab piaar kiya toh darna kya,' meaning, "when you have loved, what is there to fear?"